Linfield Wildcats


Steve Boyea
Robert Raffalo
Lynn Reed
Fred von Appen
Emily (Baker) Chadwick
Dave Burdett
Beth (Slaughter) Whittle
1981 Volleyball Team

Linfield College’s sense of community is one of its most endearing qualities, according to 2011 Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame inductee Emily (Baker) Chadwick '98. A two-sport standout in soccer and track, Chadwick’s remarks resonated with the gathering of 150 supporters at the college’s annual Hall of Fame induction banquet Nov. 12.

“Being part of the Linfield community has been just as important to me in my years beyond college,” Chadwick said. “Linfield taught me more than I ever thought possible. I learned to set goals, plan for success and to persevere. Big things can happen in a small and special place like Linfield.”

Chadwick’s remarks were echoed by the six additional individual inductees and members of the 1981 volleyball team during acceptance speeches at the 14th annual event.

Football All-American Steve Boyea ‘85, said he also learned the importance of setting goals. An orthopedic surgeon today, Boyea was a pivotal player for the Wildcats during the program’s runs to the 1982 and 1984 national titles.

NAIA All-America football lineman Dave Burdett ‘88 recalled many of the life lessons he learned under the tutelage of Hall of Fame coach Ad Rutschman '54.

“Coach Rutschman taught us to ‘practice until you’re perfect.'”

Robert Raffalo ’65, a baseball and swimming standout and one of the early members of Linfield’s famed “Hartford Connection,” characterized his induction as “surreal.”

“Why did I come to Linfield?” he asked the audience. “Because the coaches saw something in me. They were looking for good athletes with strong work ethics - men of character who they knew they could develop academically and spiritually.”

Football and track all-star Lynn Reed ’82 called his arrival at Linfield “one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. At Linfield, I learned that you’re not going to get anything handed to you. You must go out and earn it.”

National championship swimmer Beth (Slaughter) Whittle ’97, one of the most decorated women’s athletes in Linfield history, said she “cannot imagine a better place than Linfield to have spent four great years learning and swimming. I can’t wait for the day when my kids are old enough to be shopping for colleges. I’m so proud to be a Linfield graduate and thankful for the opportunities the college and the swimming program have given me.”

Fred von Appen ’65, a four-year football letterman who spent his career coaching at the major college and professional levels, told how his coach, Paul Durham ’36, “left an indelible impression.”

From Durham, von Appen learned the values of fair play, commitment, dedication, and how to treat people right.

“In light of what is going on in college athletics today, Linfield is an exemplary place,” he said.

The 1981 volleyball team, the first women’s program to play for a national title, had special character and overcame adversity to advance through the losers bracket to the championship match.

Accepting the enshrinement on behalf of her teammates, Susan (Holm) Allsop '84 recalled the ways in which Coach Shane Kimura '78 pushed and encouraged the team to reach their full potential.

In addition to Holm, team members included Carolyn (Pearce) Kraus '82, Kim Albee '84, Jan (Wise) Barker '82, Suzie Bell '83, Jill (Pluim) Hill '93, Linda Johnson-Spraker '85, and Phyllis (Bloch) Shelton '85.

To date, a total of 113 individuals and eight teams have been enshrined in the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame since its inception in 1998. A commemorative plaque each inductee is on permanent display in the Paul Durham Foyer of the Linfield Athletics Complex.